April 30, 2009
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Improvements in this blog site, while slow, are due to the assistance of Kim Nettles. She rapidly points me to the improvements. I, with the speed of a glacier, implement them. Please bear with me.
WHO & CDC – swine flu alert level raised to 5
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a news release stating that it raised the influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus and is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a notice stating that there are now 91 confirmed swine flu cases in the United States, including one death. More cases, more hospitalizations, and more deaths are expected in the coming days and weeks. Note: Owners, operators, and masters are reminded that, in accordance with 42 CFR Part 71, notice must be given to federal authorities of communicable diseases on board the ship prior to arrival in a US port. (4/29/09).
DHS – testimony re swine flu issues
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the testimony of Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing regarding governmental responsibilities and authorities as regards response to the current swine flu outbreak. (4/29/09).
Freeport, Texas – security zones proposed
The US Coast Guard proposes to establish two security zones in the Port of Freeport, Texas. The first would be a moving security zone around certain vessels displaying the international signal flag or pennant number five. [This would primarily be for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.] . 74 Fed. Reg. 19923 (April 30, 2009). The second proposal is for a permanent security zone on waters of the Freeport LNG Basin. 74 Fed. Reg. 19926 (April 30, 2009). Comments on either or both of these proposals should be submitted by June 1.
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on May 20. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Marine Safety Committee (MSC). Topics on the agenda include: measures to enhance maritime security; LRIT-related matters; and piracy and armed robbery against ships. 74 Fed. Reg. 20014 (April 30, 2009).
National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board – meeting
The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will meet in Washington, DC on May 14-15. Topics on the agenda include: GPS constellation and modernization plans; US GPS technological leadership and competitiveness; and promoting and branding current and future PNT capabilities. 74 Fed. Reg. 19999 (April 30, 2009).
NTSB – report on 2007 allision with Ambrose Light
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the report of its investigation into the allision of the tankship Axel Spirit with Ambrose Light at the entrance to New York Harbor on November 3, 2007. The report states that the probable cause of the allision was the master’s failure to use all available resources to determine the vessel’s position and course and to adequately communicate his intentions and expectations to the bridge team, which therefore prevented the bridge team from appropriately supporting the master. The conversations on the bridge at about the time of the allision are enlightening (see pages 8-10 of the report). NTSB/MAR-09/02 (4/29/09).
Fall River – meeting re proposed LNG facility
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it hosted the first of two security-focused work group meetings in Fall River, Massachusetts with partner agencies and local security experts to review and validate security elements of the waterway suitability assessment submitted by the developer of the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to be built in Mount Hope Bay. The meetings are not open to the public. (4/29/09).
DOJ – Mariner convicted of sinking his vessel
The Department of Justice issued a new release stating that a mariner was convicted of sinking his vessel in the navigable channels of Lake Huron, failing to mark the wreck, and discharging pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States. He faces a maximum penalty of four years in custody and fines of up to $75,000 per day for the violations. Additional potential consequences of his conviction include administrative forfeiture of the vessels used to tow the vessel that was sunk and loss of his mariner’s license. Note: Interestingly, the conviction carrying the most serious penalty is the one for violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). Possibly the sentencing priorities established by Congress should be re-examined. (4/28/09).
Cook Inlet – additional oil to be removed from Drift River terminal tanks
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the Unified Command has approved a plan for further removal of oil from the Drift River terminal tanks. A tanker has been chartered to remove as much of the remaining oily water mix as possible, dependent upon volcanic activity. Approximately 2.5 million gallons of oil remain in the tanks. There have been no lahars generated by the Mount Redoubt volcano since the April 4 event. (4/28/09).
IMO – interim revised technical specifications for LRIT
The IMO issued a 199-page circular providing interim revised technical specifications for the long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) system. MSC.1/Circ.1259/Rev.1 (4/15/09).
Paris MOU & Tokyo MOU – lifeboat launching arrangements CIC
The Paris MOU and the Tokyo MOU issued a joint press release stating that, beginning 1 September 2009, they will conduct a joint concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on lifeboat launching arrangements to ensure compliance with SOLAS Chapter III – Lifesaving Appliances and Arrangements. (4/30/09).
Panama Canal – five new tugs
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that five new tugs have been introduced into the fleet. An additional 13 tugs are scheduled to begin arriving in September 2010. (4/29/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – April 2009